During October and November, a 3-stage creative journey was sponsored by the Natural Deathcare Collaborative. The intent was to decorate a symbolic vessel (small coffin or box) to honor a loss, memorialize a loved one, contemplate life and/or serve as a "death hope chest" to store keepsakes, planning documents or related items within.
Shrouding Sisters Blog
Many years ago, Jack had told his wife Joan he wanted a green burial. He hated the smell of funeral homes where he made frequent flower deliveries. "I don't want any of that 'stuff' done to me" he told her more than once. She never forgot it.
On Tuesday evening, October 6th a group of almost 20 people gathered at Fitzgerald & Faulkner in downtown Graham. In conjunction with Nate, Fitzgerald & Faulkner's award-winning bartender, I hosted a "Coffin Crafts and Cocktails" event. Here, participants were able to choose from a plain or painted mini-coffin and a vast array of ephemera for decoration. The price of the ticket included heavy hors d' oeuvres and two cocktails...themed to DEATH! Nate also provided the backstories for his two libations, "Death in the Afternoon" and
Well, this is really not a hymn or a dirge. But it feels like I'm lifting up a lamentation of sorts. (and how about that new word I discovered: coronach!!)
There is no denying that we are living, and dying, in a tumultuous time. As a lover of obituaries, they are the first thing I turn to in the morning.
They read differently now. And families are having to adjust to the reality of smaller services (or no services at all until a later time). That feels lamentable to me, though I understand the rationale for the precautionary measures.
Several weeks ago I was asked to go visit a woman under hospice care who was declining rapidly. She and her husband were trying to sort out funeral arrangements and hospice staff thought providing them with home funeral and/or green burial information would be helpful. Well, no, I was told. "I'm not interested in cremation either. Or anatomical body donation." So where did that leave them? There was no money saved and they were currently depending on some sort of raffle out of state to help with expenses. They had no church family with a fellowship hall where they could hold a small
While this little blog post will certainly never make The New York Times, the obituary of Barbara Beye Lorie did.
Barbara was just one heck of a human being and her life story one of unique drive and determination. I came in to be a part of her DEATH story, and I wanted to share that here because there are some pretty powerful LIFE lessons for all of us.
So today I am catching up with my dear friend Jenny, sipping our peppermint tea, and discussing our work as home funeral guides. She recently took care of a friend who died---a good death actually since the friend had taken the time to plan ahead and not leave family second-guessing what she wanted. One of those things was to have Jenny choreograph her funeral at home and direct her friends how to take care of her body during her 3-day vigil.